Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Teachable moments

Summer is beginning.  Not truly arrived yet, but its tendrils are slowly grabbing hold of Toronto, tightening their grip, preparing for the beast itself to arrive and smash us with it glorious warmth.  The balcony door is open letting the wind flow through the condo and it is time to wear a lot less clothing.  Especially foot based clothing.

It is time once again to revel in feet freed from the tyranny of socks and shoes and marvel at how angry and upset people get at me for doing so.  Elli has decided that she wants very much to emulate me in this so we have been going about barefoot a lot these past few days.  We were in the grocery store and a random person walked up to us and began to lecture Elli on the dangers of being barefoot, going on and on about how didn't we know there were sharp rocks on the ground and glass and this is just so Dangerous.

Because obviously I can't have thought of that!  Clearly between the person who has never gone barefoot and the person who has gone barefoot the one who has never tried it is the one who knows things.  Moreover being in that position of complete ignorance it is critical to go and yell at a child because clearly that is both polite and justified.  /sarcasm.

However, the random angry person who thought that our clothing was very much their business was useful in providing a great opportunity to try to teach Elli some things.  I talked to Elli about the whole scene and asked if we should listen to the angry person.  She decided that we should not listen because we knew better and that the person was rude for bothering us like that.  I don't know how much deliberate teaching really works in this regard but I hope she can take away that just because some loud buffoon wants you to do things their way there is no compelling reason to do so.

Also having wandered about the city some I noticed that there was a really substantial difference in the way people viewed us.  In midtown where I live people generally look at us like we are freaks and steer away but downtown people saw me and Elli wandering about together barefoot and smiled.  The feeling I got was that folks generally thought the whole scene was heartwarming and cute instead of deviant.  I think I really don't fit in here as much as I did when we first moved in.  That vibrancy and wildness that you see in the city core (intermingled with all the suits, of course) has real appeal - maybe someday I can live closer to there again.

1 comment:

  1. I also don't know how much deliberate teaching will work here, but I do think simply having experience of dealing with having angry people approach you for not conforming to some normative standard of dress/appearance, and not letting it make you feel bad about yourself (knowing that it's their problem, and not yours =A+!), is a super useful thing, especially for girls (since when she gets older, people will continue to feel entitled to get in her face about shit to a greater degree than I think dudes deal with.)